The Malt Whisky Trail is home to a collection of vibrant, living communities. The people of the trail like to party, and share these celebrations with visitors as often as they can. It’s a passion for celebration which has given rise to a strong culture of festivals in the region – with a large variety of events of all shapes and sizes taking place throughout the year.

Discover these set-piece events, and join the party in Moray Speyside.

Not staying near a festival? Take a look at some private transport options to get you around the Malt Whisky Trail.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Held annually during the first long weekend in May, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival invites visitors to celebrate Scotland’s national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging programme of whisky-inspired events – some educational, all of them fun.

“A whisky-lover’s paradise…”

The festival is one of the largest of it’s kind, and attracts huge crowds from across the world who share a passion for Scotch malt whisky. With events of all shapes and sizes taking place across the Malt Whisky Trail, the Spirit of Speyside festival is one of the best ways to experience the Trail and immerse yourself in the world of whisky.

To find out more about the festival, and plan your visit for next year, click here.

The Spirit of Speyside: Distilled: September 09 – 11

Imagine: the world’s best whisky distillers are uniting under one roof on their own doorstep for the very first time. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Speyside region in its entirely, and soak up the expertise and the passion of these craftsmen. This is Distilled, from the team behind the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival.

The event is a celebration of whisky, but that’s not all. Speyside’s distillers will be in good company with award-winning brewers, gin crafters, shortbread, coffee and chocolate makers.

To find out more about the festival, and plan your visit, click here.

Stag_Medium_Res

Findhorn Bay Festival: September 21 – 26

Set against the backdrop of the Findhorn Bay area, near Benromach and Dallas Dhu distilleries, the biennial Findhorn Bay Festival is a spectacular celebration of arts and culture showcasing artists of national and international renown.

Following the success of the inaugural event in 2014, the Festival returns in 2016 with a vibrant mix of theatre, music, dance and visual art as well as free events including the popular annual community event Culture Day Forres, a cultural extravaganza for all the family to enjoy.

For more information, and to plan your visit, click here.

Piping at Forres: The European Pipe Band Championships

June 25th 2017

Piping At Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships 2016, takes place in the stunning setting of Grant Park, Forres on 25 June 2017. Thousands of pipers and drummers from far and wide, in over a hundred bands, will compete to be European Champions in their grade. Drum Majors and Highland Dancers will also compete in this event, run under the auspices of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).

The event not only offers world class piping but a range of other entertainment and over a hundred retail stalls. There are local producers showing why they have world wide reputations for excellence by showcasing their food and drink, and a craft and retail village with beautiful locally produced items of clothing, jewellery and much more. Funfairs and beer tents add to the all round, whole family entertainment.

For more information, and to plan your visit, click here.

Speyfest: July 2017

At the end of July, the playing fields on East Street in the Moray town of Fochabers play host to three days of the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music.

The tented village hosts a variety of seated and standing events including the Friday and Saturday concerts and stomps, the music marathon that is the Speyfest Family Sunday, a craft and food fair and an ecumenical Celtic Kirk service.

This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the traditional local culture.

For more information, and to plan your visit, click here.

Highland Games: throughout the summer months

The communities of the Malt Whisky Trail have a strong tradition of throwing impressive annual Highland games, stretching back to the time of the region’s warring clans. A display of strength, athletic prowess, and rich cultural heritage, the Highland games make for an impressive spectacle and a guaranteed fun-filled day for all the family.

There are a great many Highland games which take place across the Malt Whisky Trail. The Tomintoul Highland Games, near the Glenlivet distillery, will enter it’s 176th year in 2017, and typically takes place in the middle of July. The Dufftown Highland Games, near the Glenfiddich distillery, and the Aberlour Highland Games, near Glen Grant and the Speyside Cooperage, are also action-packed days ready to explore.

To discover more about the Highland games and when you can visit, remember to check back to the Malt Whisky Trail nearer the summer months.

Seafest: Lossiemouth

Seafest is a week long celebration of the sea, and the important role it plays in the life of communities along the Moray cost. Culminating in a Food Fayre which transforms the fishing village of Lossiemouth into a seafood-lovers heaven, the week also includes activities on and off-shore.

Find out more.

Music, dance, and theatre

There are a myriad venues to enjoy the full gamut of Scotland’s music scene along the Malt Whisky Trail. In Findhorn, near the Benromach distillery, the Universal Hall plays host to large musical concerts, as well as set-piece events like the renowned ‘Rise’ festival of contemporary dance.

In Elgin, near the Glen Moray distillery, The Drouthy Cobbler is a venue for an array of traditional music acts, small theatre productions, as well as hugely popular monthly comedy club which attracts some of the biggest names on the Scottish circuit.

Further south in Speyside, the villages of Dufftown, Rothes, and Aberlour regularly host local ceilidhs (traditional Scottish dances and community gatherings), which offer an authentic insight into a century’s old way to party.

The annual  three-day Rise festival, in Findhorn, plays host to artists working at the cutting edge of contemporary dance.